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It's time to hit the beach, but make sure to bring a soundtrack to make the most out of your time on the sand. After all, Eminem might not be the best guy to listen to on a romantic sunset walk on the Spanish Banks. Each beach has its own vibe, so we've put together our ultimate beach playlist. The twist? We're letting our Vancouver pride fly with musicians and bands that hail from Vancity. Have other suggestions? Comment on our Facebook fan page.
Front man Daniel Bejar formed Destroyer in 1995 with a self-produced album, We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge. Dubbed as "European blues," Destroyer puts out tracks that are perfect for a mellow day at the beach, and Bejar's voice can't help but echo Vancouver character -- folky, indie and poetic, all at the same time.
Track Pick: "Rivers" from Trouble in Dreams (2009) Beach Pick: Second and Third Beaches for its laid-back, nostalgic atmosphere, not to mention killer opportunities for barbeques and sunset-watching.
2. The New Pornographers
Vancouver's biggest indie group is undoubtedly the New Pornographers, who formed in 1997 and took the city by storm with its Cheap Trick-like sound. Since then, the band has taken off worldwide, receiving acclaim for its unique chord structures and eclectic sound. Plus, the evolving members of the band include hit solo acts such as Neko Case and Carl Newman a.k.a A.C. Newman.
Track: "Mass Romantic" from Mass Romantic (2000) Beach Pick: As unfamily-friendly as the band's name sounds, the New Pornographers' take on alt rock/power pop is a perfect fit of Jericho Beach's wholesome attitude and unspoiled views of downtown Vancouver.
3. Black Mountain
Nobody does "Canadian psychedelic rock" like Black Mountain does Canadian psychedelic rock. You might have heard Black Mountain's song "Stay Free" on the blockbuster movie Spider-Man 3, a sign that these guys are going somewhere. The sound: a little surreal, electric and not at all hippie-influenced (just kidding). Note: The band is not to be confused with front man Stephen McBean's collective of Vancouver musicians, Black Mountain Army.
Track: "Evil Ways" from In the Future (2008) Beach Pick: It's not a huge surprise that we would choose Black Mountain as our band of choice to hang out at Wreck Beach, renowned for its bare-all attitude and nude hippies.
4. You Say Party! We Say Die!
When You Say Party! We Say Die! (possibly one of the best band names of all time) released Hit the Floor! in 2005, it was a major spark in the dance-punk scene. We don't like their songs just because they have a bunch of exclamation points in them. "He!She!You!Me!They!We!Us!OK" emanates upbeat energy and features the band's electronic sound. Plus, who can resist Becky Ninkovic's addictive voice?
Track: "Monster" from Lose All Time Beach Pick: Kitsilano all the way. Why? Because YSP! WSD!'s youthful music is the best soundtrack for people-watching central. As diverse and quirky as Kits Beach is, it's a match made in heaven.
5. Great Aunt Ida
Singer-songwriter Ida Nilsen got her start in Vancouver and formed Great Aunt Ida in 2003. The band released its debut album, Our Fall, in 2005. Since then, Nilsen's melancholy lyrics and sweet voice has captured a dedicated following.
Track Pick: "March" on Our Fall (2005) Beach Pick: Great Aunt Ida's quiet but poignant chords add another dimension to Spanish Bank's romantic majestic views. Listen to the band while walking out into the sea at low tide and your heart might just break.
Other Vancouver Band Picks
Ladyhawk -- "S.H.T.D." on Shots (2008) Blood Meridian -- "Long Way Around" on Liquidate Paris! (2007) P:ano -- "When You Garden in Your Garden" on Ghost Pirate Without Heads (2005) David P. Smith -- "Fourth of July" on Striving for a New Tomorrow (2007) Josh Martinez -- "Say Goodbye" on The Chicharones (2003) The Winks -- "Slumber Party Let's Go" on Birthday Party (2006)